Artifacts (2 of 2)

Another installment of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything.

Benjamen Walker
Apr 22, 2014 · 2 min read

Nathan Jurgenson is a social media theorist. He says our social media profiles have begun to weigh us down, and that that is a part of what attracts people to ephemeral social media services.

At the moment Nathan works for just such a service, Snapchat. As far as he’s concerned, services like Snapchat are unique to the history of photography because their goal isn’t a proliferation of artifacts, but just the opposite: fewer photos.

For decades Fred Ritchin has been writing and speaking about photography and its digital future. Sometimes it’s even proven too much for editors. In 1984 he even had to stop writing for The New York Times Magazine because his editors felt it was unfair to make readers think more than six months into the future.

After Photography, by Fred Ritchin

But Fred has persisted. When his book After Photography came out your host spoke with him about the credibility of photography, the erosion of the authority of the single photographer, and photography’s digital cubist future.

Fred believes that, used properly, digital photography has the capacity to give us a truer vision of the world than analog ever could.

Your host went to talk to Finn Bruntun, an assistant professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, to talk about Alan Turing and computer memory. That will have to wait, though, because Finn has an idea about the technological transition, and how to remember it, that must be shared. A way to recall and relive steps on the path from analog past to digital future.

    Benjamen Walker

    Written by

    Radio, Podcasts, Comics, Documentaries. Current show: Theory of Everything (PRX —Radiotopia), Past work: WFMU, WNYC, BBC, NPR, The Guardian